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What is the difference between a BA degree and a BFA degree in Art or Design?

In brief, the BA degrees are for a breadth of study. Students have flexibility in what studio classes to take and can spend more time studying outside the Art & Design while in college. The BFA degrees are the nationally accepted professional degrees in visual arts. These degrees are restricted and carry a high level of expected growth and involvement on the student’s part. BFA students are not required to earn a minor outside of the Art & Design, so spend more time studying in studios. BFA Visual Communication Design majors are required to complete a one-semester internship to qualify for graduation. All BFA Majors are guaranteed a senior exhibition at Northern Kentucky University, while BA candidates may exhibit through juried opportunities. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss degree tracks with their advisor and other faculty members in order to make the decision that is right for each student.

Review Process

Upon completion of 60 semester hours* in the university and 27 semester hours in art, majors who intend to apply for admission to the BFA degree option should register for ART 297 Portfolio Review. Design students seeking the BFA should enroll in ARTV 297 VCD Portfolio Review. Students whose intent is to continue as BA candidates are not required to register for Portfolio Review. In the event of unsuccessful application to the BFA, a student may reapply only once and after the completion of 75 semester hours of university study. A student whose second application is not successful may continue on to complete the BA degree.
*60 semester hours must include the core courses (ART 130, ART 135 and ART 140), one art history survey (ARTH 100 or 101) and two studio art courses.

Portfolio Review Requirements

Students must have a 2.5 university GPA or higher to be accepted into the BFA program and must maintain this minimum overall GPA to graduate with a BFA degree from Visual Arts.

Students admitted to the BFA degree program must re-declare their major as BFA with the Office of the Registrar.

Senior BFA students who have applied for graduation are required to register for ART 497 Senior Exhibition which requires an exhibition of their work and a formal faculty critique of their work.

Students are not permitted to enroll in ART 297 Portfolio Review and ART 497 Senior Exhibition in the same semester.

In addition, please review area specific requirements found in the links below.

updated 5/2018